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Special Features Index  

Spotlight Russia
  Russia A cultural crossroads between Asia and Europe, Russia has a long, rich, and often violent heritage of varied influences and stark confrontations in regard to its patterns of same-sex love.  
  Ballets Russes The Ballets Russes (1909-1962), a Ballet company formed by impresario Sergei Diaghilev, is crucial to the history of dance and was also one of the earliest gay-identified multinational enterprises.  
  Sergei Diaghilev For Russian nobleman Sergei Diaghilev (1872-1929), who revolutionized music, the visual arts, theater, and dance, homosexuality may have been integral to his creativity.  
  Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein One of the greatest filmmakers in the history of cinema, Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein (1898-1948) chafed under the restrictions of Stalinism.  
  Nikolai Gogol Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852) was a playwright, humorist, and novelist. Nearly all of his works obliquely reflect his repressed homosexuality, especially in the fear of marriage that permeates his stories and plays.  
  Vladimir Horowitz Russian-American pianist Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989) is widely regarded as among the greatest musicians of the twentieth century. His legendary artistry, preserved on recordings, remains a source of inspiration and delight.  
  Mikhail Alekseyevich Kuzmin The Russian writer and translator Mikhail Alekseyevich Kuzmin (1872-1936) wrote poems and novels that present sympathetic, often idealistic, portrayals of gay love and desire.  
  Serge Lifar Fiercely ambitious, Serge Lifar (1905-1986) used his extraordinary looks and charismatic personality to rise to the ranks of leading international ballet dancers and choreographers of the twentieth century.  
  The confusion of queer identities and possibilities presented by Moscow owes much to its rapid growth and the village origins of its inhabitants.  
  Vaslav Nijinsky One of the greatest dancers and most innovative choreographers in the history of ballet, Vaslav Nijinsky (1890-1950) embodied the sensuality and sexual ambiguity associated with the distinctive new art of the twentieth century.  
  Rudolf Nureyev The greatest dancer of his time, Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993) also gave the world a new and glamorous image of a sexually active gay man.  
  Sergei Paradjanov None of the films of Russian director Sergei Paradjanov (1924-1990), who spent more than eight years in prison for homosexuality, feature overtly gay themes, but they are infused with a queer sensibility that manifests itself in lyrical tableaux.  
  Sophia Parnok The creativity of Russian poet Sophia Parnok (1885-1933) was closely linked to her lesbianism.  
  Since the eleventh century, Russian Literature has included treatments of homosexual themes.  
  St. Petersburg, Russia was once the crucible of one of history's liveliest and most articulate homosexual cultures.  
  Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky One of the greatest composers in the history of music, Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) inspired a cult of gay admirers who detected in his work themes of forbidden love.  
  Pavel Tchelitchew Russian-born painter, sculptor, and set designer Pavel Tchelitchew (1898-1957) created a number of works that illustrate homoerotic desire.  
  Marina Tsvetaeva A lesbian theme runs throughout the works of Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941), widely considered one of the four greatest twentieth-century Russian poets.  


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